The Blog Squad

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Excuse me while I whip this out ...

Sometimes things are just so weird you almost can't figure out what to say about them. In its Street Talk section on Oct. 26, Style Weekly reported the story about City Councilman Manoli Loupassi defending a guy who had been charged with exposing himself after a woman caught him, pants around his ankles, masturbating in a parked car. The issue sparked debate in the neighborhood about whether an advocate for the neighborhood — i.e., its Council representative — should defend someone deemed to be harmful to that very neighborhood. The debate goes on, I suppose, but the weird part is the letter-to-the-editor it elicited from J. Tyler Ballance.

As I said, where can you even begin? Mr. (I assume) Ballance equates public masturbation and breastfeeding by virtue of the fact that they are both natural acts, and seems to suggest that if people can't restrain themselves and choose to do these things we should all just mind our business. Well, Mr. Ballance, I had to pee pretty badly yesterday when I wasn't near a bathroom. Should I have just performed that natural act on Buford Road?

As a person who has been on both sides of this (I am not a public masturbator, but I have been the recipient of two public whipping-outs AND I have been that public breastfeeding mom who has done her own share of whipping out.) To compare a recreational whip-out for a moment's pleasure while spying women on the street with a necessary whip-out for the vital sustenance of a helpless human being is, well ...

Maybe you all can supply the word I'm looking for?

4 Comments:

At Thu Nov 10, 02:45:00 PM EST, Blogger Horny Old Guy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thu Nov 10, 04:14:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok - well,
i personally wish people would show more decorum in public. (and no, i haven't read the letter to the editor) i personally believe that since you can either pump the breast milk ahead of time or schedule your feedings, that you should not breast feed in public. if, for some reason, it is necessary, i think it should done discreetly. i have been at too many functions where someone will just take out their breasts and start breast feeding. sorry but i just find that tacky.

 
At Thu Nov 10, 06:46:00 PM EST, Blogger Janet Giampietro said...

we could go on all day about that. i always found that "scheduling" feedings was just unrealistic. as babies grow they have growth spurts during which they are sometimes eating every hour or sooner. you'd have to be tethered to your house for six months or more if you only went out between feedings. and i didn't use bottles at all until after about six months and even then not much. the key though is discretion. most times i was feeding in public people had no idea. i'd turn a chair around or go to a quiet corner. but the indignity of the places i felt compelled to "hide" because of the judgment of other people -- bathroom stalls? come on! most women i know or just see out breastfeeding are very discreet. once in a while you see a woman putting on a show and i think this is where this whole notion of "breastfeeding moms gone wild" comes from.

 
At Wed Jan 18, 02:13:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely on this, Janet. It must be very difficult for others who have not had the personal experience of breastfeeding a little baby to imagine how unrealistic it is to expect mothers to refrain from BF in public. My own baby would not even touch a bottle if she was within visual sight of me, so pumping ahead of time would not have been helpful at all. And scheduling feedings?! Maybe other babies are so compliant, but not mine. She wanted to nurse when she was hungry, sad, scared, anxious, and bored. I was a walking pacifier for 12 months. If I hadn't fed her in public she would have been the screaming banshee in the restaurant -- and who wants that?? The real solution requires cooperation on both sides of the debate. BF mothers need to be modest by turning around, using a blankie or apron, etc. Casual observers need to be respectful of a mother's decision to continuing living a "real" life while feeding her baby.

 

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